I had the pleasure of attending the Austin Area Garden Center’s (AAGC) 50th Anniversary on October 19, 2014. It was held at the Zilker Botanical Garden of which AAGC is the prime mover and shaker. In their infancy they had 5 clubs as their membership. It was through their efforts, foresight and fundraising that the idea for the current building that houses the Meeting Room and Shop was built 50 years ago.
Today, there are over 30 member clubs that make up AAGC all with their ties to Nature and things that grow.For more information about AAGC and the clubs and its members, click on this link.
The weather was very nice and was warm but not hot by Texas standards and even though I did a lot of walking around taking many pictures, it was not unpleasant. The different clubs were located all over the Gardens with the Flower Show being held in the Meeting Room. Pictures of some of the entries are on the slide show below. Halfway down the hill next to the Gardeners Sheds, there was a collection of booths with the garden member occupants selling their wares. They were of the gardening kind such as Bamboo, Violets and Bonsai’s and many other types of plants. The couple of times that I visited, they seemed to be doing a roaring trade. The Austin Pond Society was very prominently represented with a table at the entrance to the Meeting Room and was manned by volunteers working 2 hour shifts. Our thanks to those worthy people for giving up their time.
At 1:00 pm, Marion Alsup, President of AAGC introduced a host of different speakers at the microphone to tell stories to the attending visitors of their memories and connections to the Botanical Gardens. The legendary Japanese Gardener, Isamu Taniguchi, when he was 70 years old, began work on the Japanese gardens and worked for 18 months free gratis on this wonderful project. He had a vision of what the Garden should look like and was willing to do the work to make it a reality. As one of his Grandsons jokingly remarked, there was a fear that he would die before the Gardens were completed so eventually he had some help to finish it off . His story was very much in the forefront with his work to build the Japanese Gardens and he was fondly remembered with stories of his personal efforts with his pick and shovel and trusty wheelbarrow. These were the focal point of many of the stories told by his immediate family. Others spoke of their many memories of times gone past and the joy they have received over the years in supporting these wonderful gardens.
After the ceremonies were concluded, I took one more stroll around the grounds before departing. As the pictures show, I could not help but share the beauty of these gardens and the innumerable flowers that were still blooming. Watch the slideshow below for more pictures. Added to these marvelous flowers were the reminders that Halloween is not far away with the whimsical stuffed caricatures spread around the grounds. The balloon archway was sponsored by Bamboo Bistro who also provided food for the many volunteers. Thank you Bamboo Bistro.
AAGC Slideshow 2014 from Francis Allcorn on Vimeo.